People who know how to make cool FX on their computers, such as FreddieW, Corridor Digital, and Tom Antos, represent a YouTube subgenre all of their own. A new series featuring YouTube VFX animator Joey Shanks hopes to make said group a little less exclusive. Shanks is working with PBS Digital Studios to create a web series that will educate newbies on the art of DIY special effects.

Since the beginning of Shanks’ partnership with PBS Digital Studios, his channel has posted  a handful of well received videos, several of which have approached six digit views. Part of the appeal of Shanks’ channel is his easy-to-understand style. ”I don’t really know the terminology — I’m not quite sure how to talk about f-stops or depth of field,” he explained. He also makes sure to keep a singular focus and prefers to work alone. “With stop-motion and animation projects, it’s just easier to have less people around.”

Shanks’, who previous completed a successful Kickstarter campaign for his Sci-Fly stop-motion short film, has begun to build up a subscriber base and releases ones episode a week.

PBS Digital Studios has put itself at the forefront of a burgeoning network. The studio is responsible for one of my favorite channels on YouTube, PBS Idea Channel, which I am happy to see has now passed 125,000 subs and 5 million video views. Another one of the studio’s featured channels, National Film Society, recently completed a successful Kickstarter project for its new web series, Awesome Asian Bad Guys. Shanks hopes his fledgling relationship with PBS affords a similar boost.

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